After years of prayer and seeking God’s will, a core of families from Randolph EFC, Harvest EFC and Trinity EFC began meeting together in Waupun for prayer and Bible study on Sunday nights during the summer of 1996. Once they were convinced that God was inviting them to join Him in a new local church ministry in Waupun, they began praying and searching for a Church Planter/Senior Pastor.
In August, this core of committed families extended a call to Jon & Beth Gaus to come and help them plant Waupun Evangelical Free Church. Shortly after Jon and Beth arrived, the core group canvassed many neighborhoods in Waupun seeking to find out why the local “un-churched” were “un-churched”! Armed with this revealing information, the core group began prayerfully and strategically planning how to reach the “un-churched” and provide a place of spiritual feeding for the already saved.
In November, after the Lord graciously provided the Waupun High School for weekly meetings, Waupun Evangelical Free Church held its first public worship service! A Small Group Ministry was launched immediately and has been an effective avenue for evangelism, fellowship and discipleship. Sunday morning attendance has continued to grow as the Lord has brought an increased number of saved and seekers through the church doors.
1997 In August, we held our first Baptismal Service with 14 believers publicly professing their faith in Jesus Christ through testimony and water baptism. During the same month the Lord graciously blessed the fellowship with 20 acres of land, debt free.
In August, Mike Giebink accepted the call to become associate pastor, and to address the areas of youth and small group ministries.
1999 In January, we welcomed Pastor Roger Knowlton and his family to become WEFC’s 1st Senior Pastor.
In November, Wayne Watson came to Waupun to help us celebrate our 5th Anniversary.
In July, we voted to change our name to Edgewood Community Church.
In August, Jeremy Thompson joined Edgewood’s staff as Youth Pastor.
6th Anniversary Celebration including the Scott Krippayne Concert.
Our first service in the new building was October 27, 2002.
Fall-new ministry year theme - “Building a Community to Reach a Community”-Sermon Series: “Christianity, Fact or Fiction?”
Dedication/Open House on December 8, 2002
March: First meeting of new monthly children’s ministry “Xtreme Kids”
April: 1st Pursue 301 Class * Each One Reach One Outreach (Easter culmination Prayer, Fasting, Billy Graham “The Key to Personal Peace” distribution. Goal: 650 attendance and 25 salvations – On Easter Sunday we had 582 in attendance and 31 indicated they received Christ!
August: Edgefest (first ever community festival outreach) followed by Sing Out III
September: 2nd Annual Hunter’s Night Out * New Ministry Year Theme “Living On Purpose” with sermon series: “Sermon on the Mount”
October: 8th Annual Fall Outreach at Fond du Lac County Park * Women’s Conference: Thrive Simulcast * 1st Thanksgiving Eve Service
December: Children’s Christmas Program * 1st Christmas Musical performed
January: Thru March 12 church corporately did the 40 Days of Purpose, which was prefaced by 40 Days of Prayer. Coinciding with the 40 days we changed our Sunday service start times from 8:30 to 9:00 and from 10:15 to 10:45. We had 21 different small groups doing the 40 days together * Roger Knowlton’s Ordination service
February: Ministry Fair * Missions Fair
March: Celebration Sunday – Baptisms and Potluck * 12 Hours to the Cross Sermon Series – capped off by Easter Outreach 3 services with record 720 in attendance. 50 praying to receive Christ * April 18 – May 30 – Another Look Series (continuation on the Sermon on the Mount)
May: Mike Giebink’s Ordination
June: Waupun sees heavy rainfall on the 10th leading to flooding and on the 23rd a tornado hits the southern part of Waupun. New summer sermon series: Psalms for the Summer
July: Annual Baptism and Picnic – moved to the church due to excessive wetness at the Brandon Park
August: Youth Sunday * New Fall Small Groups – (12) “Better Together”
September: 2nd Annual Edgefest – 4th Annual SingOut * It’s Not Mine Sermon Series
October: ECC 9th Annual Fall Outreach at the Fond du Lac County Park
November: Eight Anniversary observed with 3 baptisms, testimonies and anniversary cake served between services * Thanksgiving Eve Service
December: Children’s Christmas Program * 2 Christmas Eve Services
January: One Book One Body Reading Plan (joining many local churches in reading as a church, one select chapter per day) * Youth Groups took 52 people to Districts in Green Bay
February: Men’s Ministry hosted Night of Romance and also the Edge Fishery
March: Easter services with 688 in attendance * Ladies held a Spring Brunch * Youth Spring Missions Trip (26 people)
April: HighLife sponsored a Coffee House Concert featuring Matt Hoffland
May: Congregational vote taken with overwhelming support for Building Expansion and summer music intern
July: FM – Camp Edgewood * One Book One Body entered New Testament * Annual Baptism held in Brandon
September: 40 Days of Prayer for Building the Next Generation
October: 10th Annual Fall Festival at the Fond du Lac County Park * FM Monday night Kick-off * All Church Work Day * Building the Next Generation sermon Series
November: Building the Next Generation Campaign Banquet * 9th Anniversary Sunday welcomed 33 new members * Annual Celebration Meeting * Thanksgiving Eve Service
December: Children’s Christmas Pageant * Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Services
ain stepped out in faith in regards to staffing, and God has honored our faith, met our needs, and more than richly blessed as a result. We’ve been encouraged by the addition of Jeff Thompson as our Worship Director, who has done a terrific job of using his unique giftedness to arrange worship teams and faithfully lead us into God’s presence each weekend.
We’re also very thankful to have added Cheri Buchholz to our team in 2007 as our Children’s Ministry Director. Cheri brought energy and passion to the Greenhouse ministry in 2007, as well as freeing up Pastor Mike to turn his attention to small groups and adult ministries.
And our growing nursery received a new director, Diane Knowlton, and a new name, “God’s Garden.” I know she’s my wife, but I’m being as honest as I can when I say that Diane has done a wonderful job of organizing our one nursery into two, and introducing instruction to the toddlers.
Finally, we also welcomed Jean Homan as a part-time receptionist and website upkeeper. Jean has made a great addition to our crack administrative team in the Edgewood office.
We had our first vacation Bible school--Outrigger Island--that Cheri Buchholz ran as her last ministry before getting her teaching degree. After that, Jane Neevel took over as Children's Ministry Director. Jane spends a lot of time getting the programs ready each weekend.
Pastor Mike Giebink celebrated 10 years of ministry at Edgewood.
We started our loaning library with the organizing efforts of Art Volkmann and the donations of many.
Our 2-year-old nursery got an extreme room makeover. Project director, Diane Holland, created a hands on visually appealing "God's Garden" complete with Velcro veggies you can pick off the wall and flower mirrors. Assistants were P.J. Wetak and Sarah Dobbratz.
We had 4 baptisms, 19 new members, and 12 child dedications. We have a current membership of 260 with an average weekly attendance of 574.
We had Sara Pollock take over as nursery director from Diane Knowlton.
Roger and his family took a long sabbatical to Scotland and Europe with the help of a grant and the blessing of the elders and congregation. Many walks into the hills were taken in the Highlands. When they returned, we celebrated with a picnic and later a fantastic slide show with high tea and goodies to show what they all did. Josh Knowlton showed himself to be quite the photographer.
Jeremy Thompson left to take a position with a girl's group home in Illinois with his wife and daughters. Tim Sandberg served as interim youth pastor and worked with the middle school, high school, and young adults groups. Tim has shown himself to be quite intense in his desire to grow others. He is also a coffee connoisseur and took over the new coffee house ministry of Cafe' Edgewood.
Emily Engelhardt designed and created Cafe' Edgewood with warm, welcoming colors and fun, contemporary furnishing. She got a lot of recruitment help from her family members with staining, shopping, and sawing. The new look is fantastic!
In May, we hired Jamie Thompson as the new youth pastor. We welcomed him and his family with a church potluck. In July, he took about 25 students and many adult leaders for a week at Lifest for camping and great music. Tim Sandberg is continuing with Cafe' Edgewood and working with the YAMS (young adults) as well as helping with the youth groups as a volunteer.
We welcomed back Jeremy Thompson to be Campus Pastor at our new Fond du Lac location. Our first service was held at the Goodrich Little Theatre on January 16, 2011.